UPDATE: SAVED IN 2013
Repairs to reverse wood rot and termite damage at the historic Ft. Ruger chapel have been completed by Kapi‘olani Community College. The work was funded by a $575,000 capital improvement project appropriation from the state legislature in 2010 for interior repairs, maintenance, refurbishment work, new paint and a new roof for the chapel.
The white chapel located on the Diamond Head side of the Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) campus has always stood out from KCC’s low-lying, 1980s architecture. Built in 1925, the chapel hosted church services for the Fort Ruger military community, O‘ahu’s earliest U.S. Army coastal defense fortification, established in 1909.
The Friends of the Chapel worked with KCC and state officials, especially then-Representative Barbara Marumoto, to secure the funding and see the project to its successful outcome.
Article Written By: Jenny Quill, HONOLULU Magazine
Good things come to those who wait, and it seems that the chapel, which is still being used for classes and other activities, might finally get some much needed TLC. Recent legislation (House Bill No. 2303) appropriated $575,000 for interior repairs, maintenance, refurbishment work, new paint and a new roof for the chapel. The bill took effect in July, and the funds released.
Additionally, KCC recently presented its long-range plan to the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents. “The chapel was identified as one of the most cherished places on the campus,” says Carol Hoshiko, the dean for Culinary, Hospitality and College Advancement. “In addition to the chapel, it was proposed that there be an auxiliary building [built] next to the chapel for joint use for the community and the campus.” The development plan was “approved in principle” by the board, meaning that, while the concept was approved, KCC has a ways to go before anything is finalized.
In 2010, an exciting development in the effort to save the beloved historic Chapel that sits on the grounds of the Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) came about with the appropriation of $575,000 by the State legislature and the release of the funds by former Governor Linda Lingle for needed renovations.
Placed on Historic Hawaii Foundation’s Most Endangered Historic Sites list in 2009, it has now received the funding needed for basic repairs, painting, and termite treatment. The work will be carried out over the next two years thanks to the community-wide effort to save the Chapel, which included KCC Chancellor Leon Richards; key administrators such as Carol Hoshiko; University of Hawai‘i Planning Office; State legislators Barbara Marumoto, Scott Nishimoto, and Les Ihara; the Outdoor Circle’s Susan Spangler; members of the Diamond Head Special District Advisory Board; Historic Hawai`i Foundation, and others.
The Chapel’s supporters have already begun planning their next effort to secure the additional funding needed to do necessary repairs to the historic windows, interior improvements, and possibly to replace a missing portion of the Church steeple.
LISTED AS ENDANGERED IN 2009
Article Written By: Jenny Quill, HONOLULU Magazine
What is it?
The white chapel located on the Diamond Head side of the Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) campus has always stood out from KCC’s low-lying, 1980s architecture. Built in 1925, the chapel hosted church services for the Fort Ruger military community, O‘ahu’s earliest U.S. Army coastal defense fortification, established in 1909. “People feel that [the chapel] is an important structure,” says Carol Hoshiko, KCC’s dean for Culinary, Hospitality and College Advancement. “It’s different from the rest of the buildings. It’s an older building, and reminiscent of times before.” Since KCC took up residence at the base of Diamond Head Crater some 35 years ago, the chapel has served strictly as an educational facility, housing continuing-education classes, such as taiko classes taught by Kenny Endo’s Taiko Center of the Pacific, community service functions and large gatherings. “There is not an overabundance of large areas to meet in [at KCC],” says Hoshiko, “and the chapel offers that.”
What threatens it?
According to Hoshiko, the chapel is structurally sound, but is in need of a little TLC. “It is currently on our repair-and-maintenance list,” she says. “There are 34 projects on this campus for repair and maintenance that we’re hoping will be done at some point. The chapel is No. 9 on that list.”
KCC has invested money in the chapel’s upkeep, most notably in the early to mid 1990s, when KCC conducted $125,000 worth of interior work and $150,000 for paint stripping, repainting and re-roofing. The improvements have made a huge difference in the chapel’s usability, says Kenny Endo, who has been practicing taiko there since 1990. “In the early years, half of the roof leaked so badly that the chapel would fill with two inches of water,” says Endo. “The floor was so messed up we had to wear shoes or protective footwear. One of the first things [KCC] did was fix the roof, and that helped. Then, later, they fixed the floor. [The chapel’s] really a lot more usable now.”
The chapel currently needs approximately $571,000 worth of refurbishment work, including a new paint job, and some roof and interior repairs.
What can be done?
Hoshiko was unable to provide a time frame for when the chapel would be refurbished. “I believe the community members, the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and KCC can work together to garner support and resources for the chapel to be repaired and maintained in good condition,” Hoshiko says. She’s also interested in forming a Friends of the Chapel group that would bring together representatives from the community’s public and private sectors to help raise funds and develop a collaborborative plan for the chapel’s future. Anyone interested can call 734-9567.